[Image above] Credit: RXBach; Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
The team behind the Solar Impulse 2, a plane powered only by the sun (click here to read my post from last August on Si2), has finally decided on a date for the aircraft’s first round-the-world flight.
The plane’s two pilots—Solar Impulse president Bertrand Piccard and CEO André Borschberg—announced during a recent press conference that the plane will take off from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, later this month or in early March.
During the (if successful) record-breaking flight, the two will criss-cross the globe, making stops in Oman, India, Myanmar, and China. The plane will also stop in Phoenix, New York City, and southern Europe or North Africa before completing the solar flight in the UAE capital.
According to a company news release, “What better way to demonstrate the importance of the pioneering, innovatory spirit than by achieving ‘impossible’ things with renewable energy and highlighting new solutions for environmental problems?”
Si2 is the “first solar airplane to fly through the night, between two continents, and across the United States,” but will it make it ‘round the world?
“For such an adventure, as for any premiere, there are no references,” the release states. “We were, and will be, faced with a number of challenges, leading us to push the limits of technological, human, and piloting performance.”
Watch the short video below to see Si2 as it completes testing on the runway in Abu Dhabi before the March flight.
Credit: Solar Impulse; YouTube